Entries Tagged 'County Commission' ↓

Minnehaha County Commission talks worker turnover

There is a really interesting presentation about employee turnover with the county.

Minnehaha County Commissioner Gerald Beninga doesn’t seem to concerned about security of ballots during an election

As we have suspected, we are only a few months away from an election and the wheels are starting to come off. This is what happens when you have a person who never has been registered to even vote (what is up with these veterans and not voting anyway?) become city clerk and put in charge of our elections.

Luckily County Auditor Bob Litz identified the problem and when he makes the county commission aware of it, they just tell Bob to deal with it. Beninga was worthless on the city council, and he is proving to be the same on the county commission. How does this guy keep getting elected?

A few years ago they gave Bob some secure office space to count ballots, but once all the murdering drug dealers decided to move to BOOMTOWN they took the space away for more state’s attorneys.

Ballots must be counted in a secure area, not in some hallway. Maybe they will find space in the restrooms come April 10.

If Mayor Huether considers himself a councilor, why doesn’t he attend and vote at joint county meetings?

To tell you the truth, I can’t remember the last time Huether has attended a joint county/city meeting. Someone told me it hasn’t been since 2010, but I can’t verify that. Let’s just say it has been awhile.

I also don’t know why he doesn’t attend anymore. Some have speculated it is because he doesn’t get to chair the meetings. They are usually ran by the chairs of the council and commission.

I find it ironic that he calls himself a ‘councilor’ and cites the charter, breaks ties during regular council meetings and uses his veto pen, but he doesn’t fulfill that duty during the joint meetings. I also find it ironic that he would chastise councilor Pat Starr for abstaining from voting ONCE while Huether has been ‘abstaining’ from the joint meetings for several years.

Its time to allow micro-breweries in SD to distribute their own beer, and, time to raise the alcohol tax

I know what you are thinking, a few contradictions there, but not really. I have often believed a tax hike in alcohol would actually help the bar business and give property tax payers a little relief from paying for criminals.

First the distribution issue. Distributors are clearly fighting this because of greed. But they have their excuses;

Distributors, meanwhile, said allowing craft breweries to work as producer, distributor and retailer in some capacity could create problems for the state in collecting tax revenue and for consumers in ensuring their beer meets quality standards.

Breweries would still be paying taxes and as for the quality issue, that is silly. Distributors ARE NOT testing the quality of the product, if they were Coors Light would no longer be available 🙂 This is clearly a way for distributors to reap a commission for basically doing nothing but acting like a keg taxi. Distributors would still be in the picture anyway for mass distribution. All brewers are asking is to brew more beer and sell it from their locations.

As for increasing the alcohol tax, I agree 100% with Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth that it is silly that property tax payers are footing the bill for crimes related to alcohol. I think if alcohol taxes increase, liquor stores and bars will charge more, which in turn could mean bigger profits and less consumption, which means less crime. MPR has a great story about this.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the cost of excessive alcohol use is $2.05 per drink — costs that create financial burdens for federal, state and local governments.

“Currently, federal and state taxes do not even come close to covering those costs,” said Dr. Timothy Naimi, author of a recent article study on state alcohol excise taxes. “Public health is a strong rationale for alcohol taxation. … If we don’t recover the costs related to alcohol sales, then it amounts to a subsidy for people who drink, and who drink excessively.”

I don’t think the habits of casual drinkers would change with a tax increase, but I do think it would help to curb reckless drinking.

Minnehaha County Commission Chair must be going for a new look in 2018

UPDATE: Minnehaha County Commission continues to deny Barth a chairmanship

Not sure if Jeff has fought to be chair or not, but it seems a bit odd that as long as he has been there they won’t give him a chair position. They had their chair election yesterday and re-appointed Heiberger as Chair (she was chair before Beninga) and Bender as Vice-Chair.

Unlike the city council, the commission is a partisan position, and since Jeff isn’t a part of the majority party on the commission, I believe they continue to deny him a chair position. Sad really, since he has the most experience.

Barth also voted against using the Argus Leader as the official designated paper for the county in Sioux Falls. State law really doesn’t give them much of a choice on the matter, but it was a good protest vote. Barth has been critical of the paper for not covering county business very well. While I will agree to some extent, I will say it again, the meetings are at a very bad time, they need to be moved to after 5 PM.

UPDATE: I’m awaiting to see the actual meeting (apparently it takes two days, again, to see the video) but I guess Barth also chastised the city for not telling the county about the asbestos dumping since the county gives permission to the city to use the landfill.

Minnehaha County has better credit rating than the City of Sioux Falls

So I get a call from a county official yesterday, and they say something like,

“Did you hear? The county has a better credit rating than the city. But you might not have heard because we didn’t hold a press conference.”

Bob Litz actually made the brief announcement at the county commission meeting on Tuesday. I even said to the official that I didn’t even get a press release from the county on it. The good rating will SAVE taxpayers money on interest with the bond sale for the new jail.

Should the Head of the CVB & her Lincoln CC husband be endorsing a mayoral candidate

I guess I can’t tell people who to support for the next mayor of Sioux Falls, but I can’t help to feel that Teri Schmidt is putting herself in a sticky situation by supporting a particular candidate. She runs a non-profit that receives tax dollars to promote our city for business and tourism, hanging her hat this early on a candidate is a little troublesome. Obviously her husband Jim is in a different position as a Lincoln County Commissioner, it is not unusual for elected officials to endorse other candidates, though they tend to steer away from it.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Sep 26, 2017

This week is a little less enduring than last week’s meeting.

During the INFORMATIONAL besides staff reports and open discussion, they go into executive session over an employee. Not sure what this is about, but I think it relates to a NEW audit department employee.

The city council than has their joint meeting with Lincoln County at 5 PM to discuss zoning changes and regulations.

At 6 PM, they go at it again with the Minnehaha County Commission to discuss a joint conditional use permit.

Minnehaha County Commissioner Dean ‘Chamber’ Karsky defends TIFs

During the open discussion of the Minnehaha County Commission Meeting on Tuesday (FF:42:15) dean defended TIFs like they were his children. It started when Barth wanted to explain further his position in the newspaper.

Jeff said he wasn’t opposed to TIFs but wished the County Commission could make an independent decision about forgoing their share of tax money instead of the city just making that decision for them.

Dean, being the good Chamber of Commerce brown nosed soldier he is couldn’t let Jeff’s comments stand.

Dean started by peddling the half-truth that TIF’s ‘Don’t take away anything (from the county) because as he put it, “You can’t take away something you don’t have.” Well, Dean, maybe I should tell Pam Nelson that the next time I refuse to pay my property tax bill.

He went on to say he thinks TIF’s are a wonderful development tool AND incentive (yes, wonderful to the developer who gets a 13-14 year property tax break*) Does Lloyd who owns thousands of apartment units and pays more property taxes than anyone else in the County really need an ‘incentive’ to the develop? Is the company that destitute? Dean also claims that we don’t buy them the land. No, but with the Lloyd TIF we are really just giving it away. The TIF is $4.1 Million, soil cleanup is $3.1 million and the purchase price is around $900K. The way I look at it, they are getting the land for free.

Jeff responds to Dean that the city is pretty much ‘giving away’ the property (as I have pointed out) he also points out that if the city has these kind of assets/funds to give away, they could have cleaned up the soil themselves at their cost (as I have also pointed out in the past). Jeff sums up TIF’s by saying, “Tools that belong to the city that spite our interest.”

*It’s actually almost 25 years when you consider this property was supposed to be bought and developed by Lloyd over 10 years ago, instead the taxpayers of Sioux Falls sat on this land, collecting ZERO property taxes from it and essentially holding it for the Lloyd Companies. How would you like a 25 year property tax break? Think of all the upgrades you could do to your home?